Ahoy there. You're anxious about the transfer of television to all digital, aren't you? I know I am, and it's causing me not so excellent ulcers, not so excellent at all.
So it seems that airwaves will cease their relentless humming and be transferred into ground waves through cables of digital nature. It makes me sad a little, to think that you can longer get a shitty tv and a shitty antenna and then watch some shitty Spanish language soap opera through mild static. Such nostalgia for bad reception and honest to goodness programming. They just don't make it like they used to. Now everyone's all hopped up on reality and clarity and definition, as if what we see everyday through our eyes isn't real and clear and defined enough. Maybe I WANT to squint every once and a while! COME ON!
Anyway, the abandonment of analogue for digital got me thinking, what exactly are they going to do with all of that airspace? Well they're going to use it for emergency services and public stuff, but I like to think that's not really going to happen and what they're really going to do with the waves is just kind of forget about them. Which means, dear reader (me), that we will have open to us a veritable cornucopia of uncharted air-waters to pillage and plunder with our unique and artistic expressions.
Ah the pirating of airwaves is a dirty, dangerous (not to mention difficult) undertaking. Since stations are making the switch, it's safe to assume that they'll be turning off their analogue systems, which means that for this to work we'll have to build our own transmitter. I don't know how to do this, but I bet somewhere, somehow there are instructions. Instructions that one day will be followed.
To get motivated for our eventual take-over of the abandoned airwaves let's take a trip down airwave-piracy-memory-lane....
On April 26, 1986, a man calling himself Captain Midnight, interrupted HBO's transmission with the following:
It stayed on air for about five minutes and the words on the color bars are as follows:
FROM CAPTAIN MIDNIGHT
NO WAY !
[SHOWTIME/MOVIE CHANNEL BEWARE!]
Way to make a statement Captain Midnight.
Chicago, November 22, 1987. There you are in your living room watching Dr. Who: Horror of Fang Rock (apparently I really need to start watching Dr. Who) then this:
I don't really know what one can say about that. Flyswatter's my favorite part...
Throughout the remainder of the 80s and 90s there were a couple more broadcast interruption incidents one where some hoo-ha from the Christian Broadcasting Network interrupted Playboy TV's transmission. I'm not quite sure what he did with that transmission, but it sounds dumb so that's all we'll say on that matter.
In other countries, like the Old Soviet Union, transmission interruption was a pretty regular occurrence due to people's desire to see non-government TV. In Poland in 1985 four astronomers hijacked a TV signal and broadcast a plea for the people to boycott the upcoming election. And in 2006, Isreal hijakced Hezbollah's Al Manar TV and showed propaganda, including the bombing of targets in Lebanon with words like "your day is coming." Egad.
While our foreign neighbors use the piracy of airwaves for political purposes, good ole Americans keep it real with disembodied heads and complaints about pricing plans. And of course lets not forget our most recent foray into the fires of Television piracy.....